October 2019 Newsletter: Burn Calories and Cut Costs

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Safety Steps

Step challenges that encourage employees to get moving have become a staple in many health and wellness programs. As the weather cools, your employees might be more excited to get outside and walk over the lunch hour or as part of a fitness regimen at home. Provide safety tips to help reduce incidents as they cross streets or make their way through parking lots.

  • Be Visible: Wear bright colors during the day and reflective clothing at night
  • Hear today, here tomorrow: Refrain from the use of earbuds and headphones, or at the very least keep the volume low so as not to drown out audible warnings from other walkway and road users
  • Call for attention: Silence your phone and keep you head up to avoid distracted walking

In Texas last year, pedestrians and bicyclists who failed to yield the right of way to motorists contributed to 2,648 crashes, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Pedestrian deaths on state roads have climbed from 357 in 2010 to 621 in 2018.

Read/share: Zero Deaths Directive Applauded by Experts.

Research shows more people are walking – some to get to work, others for health reasons. There has been a dramatic uptick in traffic incidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists. Unsafe behaviors such as distracted driving, impaired driving and speeding, contribute to pedestrian and bicyclist injuries on the road. Pedestrians and bicyclists also may be distracted.

Employers, by promoting safe driving behaviors through education and training, can help reverse the trend and reduce costs associated with injuries and fatalities that occur on and off the job.

Too often, the lives of children end tragically due to the behavior of adults. In 2017, one-fifth of kids killed in crashes nationwide were involved in drunk-driving crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

On Halloween, some of our most vulnerable road users will be out again for a night of fun. Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Take steps on behalf of your employees and help protect their family members by providing safety tips on being visible at night and using caution when driving in neighborhoods.

Fall safety: Check your headlights, brake lights and turn signals.

Checklist for Change

Days are growing shorter, and seasons are changing. View the arrival of October as an opportunity to prepare for transportation safety during the upcoming winter months. Use this vehicle safety checklist from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to ensure your company vehicles and employees are ready for whatever the Texas weather brings – rain, sleet, and, yes, even a bit of ice and snow.

  • Check or replace the battery: As the temperature drops, so too can battery power decline. Did you know: Gas and diesel engines need more power to start in cold weather?
  • Visibility: When traveling, you need to see and be seen. Check your headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers and interior lights.
  • Warm thoughts: Have your coolant system inspected for leaks and checked for the proper pH mix (acidity). Rust inhibitors in antifreeze can break down and become ineffective.
  • Windshield and wipers: Replace worn blades. Use windshield fluid with “de-icer” and keep extra fluid in your vehicle. Check front and rear-defrosters.
  • Tires: Inspect your tires at least once a month for tread wear and proper inflation. Share this safety video: Life of a Tire.

Last year, defective or slick tires contributed to 4,199 crashes on state roads, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. That’s more than 11 crashes every day. Clearly, there is room for change here. Seize the opportunity to change habits as we change seasons.